How Filmmakers Get Disability Wrong

Disabled people are one of the most underrepresented groups in films and on television. It is so hard to find a decent movie with a disabled character that has a half-decent storyline that it is kind of discouraging. Most storylines that have movies with disabled characters are total garbage are just not reality and would never happen. If you aren’t disabled some of these storylines may seem accurate and correct but unfortunately, they are so far from the truth. Filmmakers could make movies with disabled characters so much better by listening to disabled people and stop using these storylines.

Every disability needs a cure- Conditions like cancer need a cure because so many people die from it every year at a very young age. A disability, on the other hand, doesn’t always need a cure and as a matter of fact, some people may not want one.  For me personally, there are some things I wouldn’t mind if they were gone like my migraines but I don’t need a cure and as a matter of fact, I don’t even know if I would want one because my disability makes me who I am and without it, I would be a totally different person. There is nothing wrong with wanting a cure but some people may not want one and to put the message out there that all disabilities need a cure is just wrong because it’s simply not true!

Disabled people are depressed- Disability does not equal depression but unfortunately, most people believe that and movies that put it out there that we all are depressed aren’t helping in showing that you can be happy and disabled. Some disabled people might be depressed but that is not the case for all disabled people and as a matter of fact most disabled are very happy with their lives and wouldn’t change it for anything. We may get frustrated with some things but we are not at any higher risk at developing depression than an abled person would be.

Disabled children are a burden to their parents – Taking care of someone who is severely disabled is difficult I am not going to lie but not for the reasons you may think. Getting extra help to take care of your disabled children or getting necessarily medical supplies can be a battle. Parents often struggle to get their disabled children the things they need because they are not always accessible to them and if parents had easy access to these resources they would not struggle so much.  One of the things I hate is when movies show disabled kids as being a burden, to their parents but the burden comes from not your child but unaccepting society and inaccessibility and if those things would change parents would have a much easier time with raising a disabled child.

Disabled people have no fun- The life of a disabled person does not consist of going to the doctor all the time and sitting at home all day until we die. Our lives are not much different from yours and we don’t go to the doctor any more than an abled person does. Some disabilities might require more doctor visits than others but as for most of us, we go the doctor as needed just like an abled person does.  Disabled people do fun things just like abled people do we just may do things a little bit differently to accommodate our disabilities! I go to theme parks, the mall and the beach just like an abled person does and have just as much fun as them but sometimes I may not do the exact same activities as my peers because of my disability.

Doctors have all the answers-  Doctors don’t have all the answers and cannot miraculously cure you! Some conditions have no cure and I really hate it when movies put out there that your doctor has all the answers and will do whatever it takes to cure you. Sometimes test results come back normal and your doctors will say” I am sorry there is nothing I can do for you” and patients will have to go to multiple physicians before they can get a diagnosis and even then some patients still can’t get a proper diagnosis.  People get misdiagnosed all the time and although doctors will do their best to help figure out what’s is wrong with you they don’t always know what is causing you so much pain and will give up on you. A doctor’s diagnosis is not always correct leaving many patients feeling frustrated with their pain forcing some people to have to live with it because no one knows what is causing it or how to treat it.

Filmmakers pretty much never get movies about disabled characters right and since I know what is accurate and what is not it makes I don’t enjoy them. There is nothing wrong with watching movies about disabled characters if you want to be entertained but you have to understand that if you want to learn about a disability watching a movie or T.V.  show is not going to give you any new information about a disability that you haven’t heard before. I have watched many movies with disabled characters and most everything I have heard in movies is either very overexaggerated or just wrong. Listen to disabled people if you want to learn more about disability and don’t get your facts from movies because more often than not filmmakers are just trying to entertain you and their facts are either just so basic that you probably knew it before you watching or total garbage. What storylines have you heard on television that filmmakers get wrong about disability?

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